| Jake Gibb, left, and Casey Patterson get ready to play in the semifinals of the Corrientes Grand Slam in Argentina on Sunday.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 26, 2013) – The U.S. men’s beach volleyball team of Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson won a second straight on the FIVB World Tour on Sunday, taking the silver at the $440,000 FIVB Corrientes Grand Slam in Argentina.
Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Patterson (Van Nuys, Calif.), seeded No. 7 in Argentina, opened play on Sunday by winning a semifinal battle over Italy’s No. 3 Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo (21-19, 20-22, 15-17 in 55 minutes). The U.S. team fell in the gold medal match to Latvia’s Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins, 21-16, 21-19 in 39 minutes.
Gibb and Patterson will split $22,000 for taking second.
After losing the first set of the semifinals, Gibb and Patterson rallied in the second set. After trailing 9-11, the U.S. tied the score at 12-12 and then took a lead at 13-12 on a Gibb service ace and a huge block of a Nicolai kill attempt. The score was tied again at 19-19 and 20-20 with Gibb landing a backhanded save near the Italians’ player box.
In the tiebreaker, the U.S. team scored first on a Patterson kill and took a 3-1 lead before the Italians came back to tie it at 5-5. The set went back and forth from there, ending up with 11 ties and five lead changes before a Patterson crosscourt kill gave the United States a 16-15 lead and the set and match ended as Lupo’s cut attempt against the block of Gibb went wide and landed outside the sideline.
“We scratched, clawed and kept biting until the very last point; that is the way we won the match,” Gibb said in an FIVB press release. “The Italians are such great players with such a great future.”
In the gold medal match, made more stirring by the excited boisterous crowd, Latvia’s Samoilovs and Smedins charged ahead and held off Gibb and Patterson’s challenges.
Samoilovs and Smedins came out of the box on fire in the first set, building up a five-point cushion after the U.S. team pulled to within one point at 12-13. With kills by both Samoilovs and Smedins, Latvia pulled out to a five-point lead at 18-13 and the U.S. team got no closer at the end of the set.
In the second set, Gibb and Patterson took a lead at 9-8 but Samoilovs’ kills and blocks and Smedins’ kills took the lead back quickly. Latvia led 12-9 at the technical time out and after the U.S. closed to 13-12, Samoilovs had another crosscourt kill. A Smedins kill to the back line gave the Latvians a 20-18 lead. Gibb blocked a Samoilovs kill to close the gap to one point, but Samoilovs closed out the match and clinched the gold medal with a crosscourt kill that bounced off the hands of a diving Patterson.
The FIVB World Tour will be off next week as 10 regular FIVB men’s and women’s teams compete in the FIVB World Cup Final special event in Campinas, Brazil. The FIVB World Tour resumes June 11-16 with Round 3 at the $440,000 FIVB Hague Grand Slam.